Forbes Trail Resources The American Way of War
From The War that Made America
A British officer serving on the frontier once remarked, "In an American campaign every thing is terrible; the face of the country, the climate, the enemy." Indeed, wilderness warfare was far different from the set-piece battles that were fought in Europe. There were no open fields with opposing soldiers massed to attack the center or the flanks. In the dense forests of North America it was a remarkable occurrence if a commander could even locate the enemy’s exposed flank. Following Braddock’s ignoble defeat near Fort Duquesne, it became apparent to some British and American officers alike that tactics needed to be altered to confront this different kind of war.
Adam Stephen, a Virginia provincial officer who had been with Braddock that day along the Monongahela, remarked that the general "found to his woeful Experience, what had been frequently told him, that formal Attacks & platoon firing never would Answer against the Savages & Canadians." Stephen went on to suggest that it "be laid down as a Maxim to attack Them first, to fight Them in their own way, & go against Them light & naked, as They come against us, creeping near & hunting us, as They would do a Herd of Buffaloes or Deer." Colonel George Washington, Stephen’s commander, agreed and at the beginning of the Forbes Campaign he suggested to Henry Bouquet that the Virginia soldiers should "Adopt Indian Dress" and move "as light as any Indian in the Woods." When some of Washington’s men appeared at Bouquet’s camp wearing hunting shirts and Indian style leggings, the colonel was pleased, remarking, "Their dress should be our pattern in this expedition." He went so far as to suggest to General Forbes that they should "make Indians of part of our provincial soldiers. They are very willing, the expense is nothing, and I believe the advantage would be very real." Forbes replied, writing, "I must confess in this Country, wee must comply and learn the Art of War, from Enemy Indians or anything else who have seen the Country and War carried on in it."
Not only did Bouquet advocate adopting Indian dress, but he also believed that his men needed to adapt to the Indian style of warfare. As one provincial officer noted, "Every afternoon he exercises his men in the woods and bushes in a particular manner of his own invention, which will be of great service in an engagement with the Indians."
While an army of 6000 men could not all conform to guerrilla tactics, General Forbes and the officers under his command realized that they had to make adjustments to confront an enemy that was both resourceful and daring. Only then, could they hope to achieve their objective of pushing the French from the Ohio River Valley.
Commemorating the Forbes Campaign
Commemorating and preserving the past always seems to take a back seat to progress. The historic road used by John Forbes in 1758 to conquer the wilderness and the French was eventually paved over or bypassed – its only significance being that it provided people with an avenue to reach their destination. The forts that dotted along the trail were abandoned and dismantled. The sites where these historic outposts once stood were either built upon or plowed under to the point that only careful archaeology could reveal any trace of their existence.
Even though human progress attempted to erase the Forbes Campaign from the landscape, the history of this epic event was preserved. One of the earliest attempts to record this history came in 1843 with the publication of A. W. Patterson’s, History of the Backwoods; or, The Region of the Ohio. This was followed three years later by book titled Early History of Western Pennsylvania, and of the West, and of Western Expeditions and Campaigns, written by I. D. Rupp. Rupp’s monumental study included a lengthy appendix that contained the journals of Christian Frederick Post, George Washington, George Croghan, and many others. That same year, Pittsburgh native Neville B. Craig began to print a monthly publication entitled, The Olden Time, which was "devoted to the preservation of documents and other authentic information in relation to the early explorations and the settlement and improvement of the country around the head of the Ohio." Craig’s monthly journal only lasted two years, however, due to the fact "that the patronage fell short of what would justify the publishers in issuing it in a handsome dress." Nonetheless, the efforts of Craig, Patterson, and others provided the foundations for continued interest in the history of the frontier.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, Pennsylvania government officials finally became interested in locating and commemorating the early frontier forts that once existed in the commonwealth. In 1893, the state legislature passed a bill authorizing the governor to select a commission to "make inquiry and examine into... the advisability of erecting suitable tablets, marking the various forts erected as a defense against the Indians." This led to the publication in 1895 of the two- volume Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania. This work served as the genesis for further efforts to preserve the history of the Forbes Campaign and the physical sites connected to the event. In 1930 the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission placed a number of bronze plaques at important points of interest along the Forbes Road. Then, in the years immediately following World War II, highway markers were placed along U.S. Route 30 that paralleled portions of the trail.
Efforts were also taken to preserve historic sites connected with the campaign. As early as 1894, Mary Elizabeth Schenley, who owned the old redoubt known as the "Blockhouse" in Pittsburgh, donated the last vestige of Fort Pitt to the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR also played an important role in the preservation of the site of Fort Ligonier when it purchased two lots in the town which were known to occupy a portion of the ground upon which the fort once stood. In 1934, they placed a monument on the site. Twelve years later, Richard King Mellon, a distinguished resident of the Ligonier Valley, commissioned the historical architect, Charles Morse Stotz, to draw up plans and specifications for the reconstruction of the fort. The work, begun in 1953, was funded by private donations and grants from the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. By 1969 construction was completed on the inner fort and a portion of the southern outer works. In 1994, the Fort Ligonier Foundation, under the direction of Martin West, purchased additional property on the site of the original. This acquisition allowed for the reconstruction of the important fascine cannon battery that protected the inner works of the fort. Other structures, such as officers’ quarters, a hospital, blacksmith shop, log dwelling, and bake ovens were also built over the years. Additionally, the foundation was able to significantly expand the outer retrenchments.
Other frontier forts along the Forbes Trail have also been commemorated in recent years. In 1958 the Fort Bedford Museum, located in a reconstructed blockhouse situated along the Juniata River, was opened to preserve the history of the Raystown encampment. In 1993, the Fort Loudoun Historical Society built a replica of this 18th century compound on the site of the original fort.
Due to urban development, it was, naturally, impossible to reconstruct Fort Duquesne or Fort Pitt. In fact, the property at the famous confluence was regarded as a "blighted area," filled with a jumble of "nondescript buildings and a sprawling freight terminal." In 1943, Pittsburgh’s mayor, David L. Lawrence, authorized the formation of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a civic organization charged with revitalizing the city. This organization began with efforts to institute flood control and to clean up the air, and also arranged funding to clean black soot from city buildings, build parks, construct cultural centers, and demolish slums. A 95 acre plot of land at the triangle was cleared to make way for office buildings and hotels. In 1945 the Point Park Committee was formed to plan and build a state park at the confluence to commemorate the historic significance of the site. Charles Stotz and Ralph Griswold, who were employed to design the park, determined that a simple composition would best showcase the surrounding hills and rivers and serve as "a majestic memorial far more impressive than any man made monument." In addition, the park was designed to promote the history of the site through a partial reconstruction of some of the prominent features of Fort Pitt and a tracery outlining the location of Fort Duquesne. The park was also designed to include a museum that was housed inside a recreation of one of the fort’s bastions. In the end, Point State Park reclaimed from the urban landscape a sense of the wilderness outpost that served as a "Gateway to the West."
Fort Pitt Forts of Pittsburgh Property of Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Shortly after John Forbes departed from Forks of the Ohio, Colonel Hugh Mercer set about building a stockade to protect the confluence. This small, four bastioned outpost, called Mercer’s Fort, stood along the banks of the Monongahela River. Behind the log walls of the fort, Mercer and his men waited for the coming of spring that would bring supplies and reinforcements. On March 11, 1759, General Forbes died in Philadelphia. General Jeffrey Amherst, the overall British commander in North America, appointed John Stanwix to replace Forbes and oversee the construction of a larger, stronger fort at Pittsburgh. By late summer, Captain Harry Gordon of the Royal Engineers arrived at the Forks of the Ohio with more than 300 men to begin work on the new outpost, named Fort Pitt.
Instead of the crude wooden stockade which was common on the frontier, Fort Pitt was a complex series of fortifications that covered seventeen acres. The five bastions were connected by curtain walls built from earth and covered with sod. On the land side of the fort, the walls and bastions were faced with brick for greater protection against attack. Under the curtain walls were casements and magazines used to store ammunition and supplies. Inside the compound stood barracks, officer’s quarters, a storehouse, and a two-story brick house for the commanding officer. For further protection, a series of ditches, redoubts, and ravelins formed the outer works of the fort. In all, Gordon and his construction crew worked for nearly two years to complete the sprawling complex, only to have their work nearly destroyed by a flood that swept over the triangle in January 1762. The following year, another flood nearly washed away one of the bastions and curtain walls.
As the new fort continued to grow, so did the civilian population outside its walls. Before long, a sizeable community of merchants, traders, tavern keepers, laborers, and land speculators sprang up around the fort. In April 1761, Colonel Bouquet conducted a census and counted 160 buildings, with a population of 219 men, 75 women, and 38 children. He regarded most of Pittsburgh’s inhabitants as useless and indolent and labeled the community "a Colony sprung from Hell for the Scourge of mankind."
Within a few short years, the Forks of the Ohio bore little resemblance to the pristine wilderness that had once existed. This development alarmed the Indians who grew resentful of the white man’s presence. Contrary to the promises that had been made to them at Easton, the British did not withdraw back over the mountains. Instead, the redcoats augmented their presence in the region. By the time word reached the frontier of the peace treaty ending the Seven Year’s War, Indian discontent reached a breaking point. In the summer of 1763, all the tribes of the Ohio Country joined together in the conflict known as Pontiac’s Uprising and placed Fort Pitt under siege. The post commander, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, gathered nearly 400 civilians inside the walls of the fort and waited throughout the summer for relief to arrive. The Indians made a desperate attack against the outpost before abandoning the siege due to the approach of a relief column led by Colonel Bouquet.
Fort Pitt continued to serve as a vital military compound during the American Revolution. American forces used the outpost as a staging area for a number of campaigns against the various Indian tribes who were aligned with the British during the war. In 1779, Colonel Daniel Brodhead launched a punitive expedition from Fort Pitt against the Seneca towns that were located along the upper reaches of the Allegheny River. The American forces succeeded in torching more than 130 Indian houses and carried away an estimated $30,000 in plunder.
After the Revolution, Fort Pitt served as the home for the 1st U.S. Infantry and the 1st U.S. Artillery, and as a storehouse for supplies to equip military campaigns against Indians in the Ohio Country. Indian resistance finally came to an end with General Anthony Wayne’s victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
In 1792, the army finally withdrew its troops from Fort Pitt in order to garrison a new post, named Fort Fayette, located along the Allegheny River about a quarter mile from the Forks of the Ohio. After its abandonment, Fort Pitt was gradually torn down to make way for new development. Near the turn of the century, General James O’Hara, a veteran of the Revolution, built a brewery on the site and used the commanding officer’s quarters as a malt house. Within a few short years, all that remained of the once mighty citadel was a blockhouse, built by Colonel Bouquet in 1764. Industry and commerce, which served as the cornerstones for the development of Pittsburgh, had finally swallowed up the historic outpost.
The German Palatines Ephrata Cloister
Some of the first settlers to enter the Lancaster Valley were Scots and English Quakers; however, beginning in the early 18th century, large numbers of immigrants from Germany began to locate in the lush, fertile region. Many of these pioneers came from an area in Germany known as the Palatinate and distinguished themselves from other groups due to their adherence to the religious philosophy known as Anabaptism – so named due to the fact that they did not believe in infant baptism. Years of warfare and persecution drove many of these sectarians from their homeland to Pennsylvania where William Penn’s policy of religious toleration allowed them to flourish.
One of the important Anabaptist groups to settle in the Lancaster Valley were the Mennonites who had their origins in Switzerland before relocating to the Palatinate. These immigrants established the first settlement in the region as early as 1710. Other groups quickly followed and within ten years, much of the central portion of Lancaster County was occupied by the Anabaptists. Schisms occurring within various congregations led to the formation of new sects. In 1728, a Dunker (so-called due to their belief in full immersion baptism) leader from the Conestoga area named Conrad Beissel withdrew from his congregation to form a new religious community that became known as Ephrata Cloister. The settlement was comprised of a mix of celibate members and supporting families. They came to be recognized for their beautiful Germanic calligraphy known as Frakturschriften. Ephrata Cloister also became well known as a publishing center with its own paper mill, bindery, and printing office. Through various ideological rifts and other challenges, the community survived until 1934.
Another branch of the Anabaptist movement included the Amish, who took their name from founder Jacob Amman, an early church leader who broke with the Mennonites over the issue of shunning. Shunning is the practice of having no contact with a church member who has been excluded from the congregation. Amman believed that his Mennonite brethren had drifted away from the practice, while he insisted that the custom be maintained. Many Amish originally settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania. As the number of Indian raids increased during the early years of the French and Indian War, large numbers of Amish relocated to the Lancaster Valley for security. Their farms and small communities can still be found in the region today.
The Highland Soldier in America
When the first Scottish troops arrived in America in 1756, they were regarded with a great sense of wonder. Their jaunty bonnets, plaid kilts, and badger skin sporrans (pouches worn on the front of the kilt) set them apart from other British soldiers and made them somewhat of a novelty. One spectator who witnessed the Highlanders disembark at New York harbor commented, "they were caressed by all ranks and orders of men, but more particularly by the Indians." This observer went on to state, "On the march to Albany, the Indians flocked from all quarters to see the strangers who, they believed, were of the same extraction as themselves." Others took note of the similarity between the Scottish soldier and the Woodland Indian warrior. General Forbes jokingly referred to the Highlanders as cousins of the Cherokees. Similarly, the French who met them in battle labeled the Scots "savages without pants." One British officer noted, "The Highlanders seem particularly calculated for this country and species of warfare, requiring great personal exertion; their patience, sober habits and hardihood – their bravery, their agility and their dress contribute to adapt them to this climate and render them formidable to the enemy."
Throughout the long struggle with France, the Highlanders proved their worth in combat. During James Abercromby’s campaign against Fort Ticonderoga in the summer of 1758, he ordered the 42nd Regiment of Foot to charge headlong into an entrenched enemy position. In this foolish and costly attack, nearly 650 Highlanders were killed. One redcoat officer who witnessed the gallant but doomed assault later remarked, "I have seen men behave with courage and resolution before now, but such determined bravery can hardly have been equaled in any part of the history of Rome."
That same courage was witnessed by Henry Bouquet at the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763. The colonel’s beleaguered command was saved by a Highland charge that smashed into the Indian flank and sent the enemy running for their lives. Bouquet later commented that the Scots were "the Bravest men I ever saw."
The Peaceable Kingdom at War
William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania upon Quaker principles of justice, tolerance, and equality. As such, he wished to avoid the violence between colonists and Indians that had affected other colonies such as Massachusetts and Virginia. Shortly after receiving his charter for the province in 1681, Penn sent a letter to Delaware Indian leaders proclaiming his desire to "win and gain your love and friendship by a kind just, and peaceable life." He also admonished the European settlers in Pennsylvania to "behave themselves justly and lovingly towards [the] Indians." Under such conditions, the Quaker Colony rapidly expanded as immigrants from throughout Europe flocked to Penn’s "Peaceable Kingdom." Due to Quaker pacifism and good relations with the surrounding Indian nations, there seemed no need for a military establishment.
Following William Penn’s death in 1718, things began to change. His sons and later heirs renounced the principles of Quakerism in their desire to profit from land sales in the colony. In 1736 Thomas Penn instructed Provincial Governor James Logan to make further land purchases from the Indians living along the Delaware River, north of Philadelphia. The governor informed the Delawares that he had the right to as much land as a man could walk in a day-and-a-half. The Indians reluctantly agreed, hoping to still preserve a portion of their coveted lands along the river. Instead of keeping his promise, Logan cleared a path for three distance runners who sprinted inland, away from the river. By the time the "walk" had ended, the last runner had covered 65 miles. Then, instead of running the boundary due east to the Delaware River, the surveyors laid out a line at a right angle from the point where the walk had ended. In all, the Penn family claimed more than a million acres from the fraudulent purchase. The Delaware chief, Lappawinsoe, bitterly complained that the runners, "should have walkt along by the River Delaware... should have walkt for a few Miles and then have sat down and smoakt a Pipe, and now and then have shot a Squirrel, and not have kept up the Run, Run all day." As a result of Logan’s deception, the Indians refused to sell. The governor then enlisted the support of the Five Nations Iroquois, who claimed authority over the Delawares, to force their removal. As they relocated westward to the Susquehanna and beyond into the Ohio Country, the Delawares harbored deep resentment toward the Pennsylvanians over the infamous "Walking Purchase."
Britain’s inability to force the French from Ohio Valley in 1754 and 1755 led many Indians to ally themselves with the forces of King Louis XVI. In particular, the Delawares believed that such an alliance would force the Pennsylvanians to recognize their independence from the Iroquois and guarantee them a permanent home in the Ohio Country. After General Braddock’s disastrous defeat at the Monongahela, the Indians began to attack settlers on the frontier. Hundreds of people living in the Pennsylvania backcountry fled in terror as roving bands of Indians burned homes, destroyed crops, and seized countless numbers of captives. One group of stalwart pioneers petitioned Provisional Governor Robert Morris, writing "The terror of which has drove away almost all these back inhabitants except us... with a few more who are willing to stay and endeavor to defend our land; but as we are not able of ourselves to defend it for want of Guns and Ammunition, and but few in number, so that, without assistance we must fly and leave the Country at the mercy of the Enemy."
Despite such heart-wrenching appeals, the provincial assembly offered no relief as it squabbled with the governor over who should bear the costs of military appropriations. Angry settlers arrived in Philadelphia in the fall of 1755 carrying with them the disfigured bodies of their neighbors who had been killed during the raids. A large mob surrounded the government building, depositing the mangled corpses in the doorway and demanding that the assembly take action.
Finally, in November the government passed a military appropriations act which called for the recruitment of provincial troops and the construction of a chain of forts to protect the frontier. These measures proved ineffective, however, as the Indian war parties avoided contact with Pennsylvania soldiers and bypassed the forts during their raiding activities. With the Peaceable Kingdom torn asunder, the assembly took the desperate measure of issuing bounties for Indian scalps. It was not until John Forbes arrival in Philadelphia that the beleaguered colonists could hope for relief.
The Pennsylvania Rifle
When Colonel Henry Bouquet arrived in Lancaster to push the army forward toward Fort Duquesne, he took note of the fact that many of the Pennsylvania soldiers mustered into service had no firearms. Consequently, he issued an order to the recruiting officer stating, "as a sufficient Number of Arms cannot yet be provided for your men, you are hereby desired to engage them to take their own Fuzees [a general term for a light-weight musket] or Rifles." Later, Bouquet reported to General Forbes that "A large part of the [Pennsylvania] provincials are armed with grooved rifles and have their own molds. Lead in bars will suit them better than bullets." The colonel’s comments denote a type of weapon that was gaining in popularity among the frontier settlers – the rifle. For the most part, these unique firearms were made by German-born gunsmiths who lived in the Lancaster Valley.
Unlike the heavy, smoothbore muskets carried by British troops, the rifle was lighter and had grooves cut inside the barrel which gave the weapon greater accuracy. The craft of making these exceptional firearms began in Germany and was carried to America by the Mennonite gunsmiths, who made modifications in the weapon to make it more serviceable on the frontier. One of the earliest rifle makers was Martin Mylen, who came to what would become Lampeter Township in Lancaster County in 1710. His son continued the craft and, when he died in 1751, his estate included gunlocks, gunstocks, and "Riffel Tools."
Bouquet and other British officers came to appreciate the superiority of rifles over smoothbore muskets in wilderness warfare and many light infantry regiments began to incorporate a company of select riflemen. Later, during the American Revolution, entire regiments of riflemen were organized and orders for rifles poured into Lancaster County gunsmiths from the Continental Congress.
The Royal American Regiment
By 1756, Great Britain faced a serious challenge in supplying soldiers for the campaigns in North America. This was due to both the sparse number of recruits available in Britain and the exorbitant cost of transporting troops across the Atlantic. Consequently, royal officials decided to raise four battalions among his Majesty’s subjects in America. Initially, the British hoped to fill the ranks of this new regiment with German-born Protestants living in the colonies, particularly in Pennsylvania. Foreign officers, such as Henry Bouquet, were offered commissions in the British Army to train and lead these soldiers. As it turned out, the 60th Regiment of Foot, better known as the Royal American Regiment, proved to be more cosmopolitan than expected. Less than eighteen percent of the men who served in the regiment came from the German communities in America, while another fifty-five percent were a mixture of English, Irish, or Scottish. The remainder of men were recruited from a variety of foreign countries in Europe.
Considering the ethnic diversity of this military unit, it is not surprising that cohesiveness and esprit de corps was difficult to achieve at first. Two of the officers in the regiment even fought a duel to the death. Despite such initial tension, the men learned to work together and achieved an enviable combat record fighting in the forests of North America.
In 1758, the Royal Americans, along with the Scots of the 77th Regiment of Foot, formed the core of Forbes’ forces as he marched toward Fort Duquesne. Other battalions of the 60th Regiment participated in the ill-fated expedition to seize Fort Ticonderoga and in the successful siege of Louisbourg. The following year, the Royal Americans took part in the campaign against Quebec, scaling the steep cliff to fight the enemy on the Plains of Abraham. Then, in 1760, the 60th Regiment accompanied General Jeffrey Amherst in his bid to seize Montreal, thereby ending French resistance in North America. These campaigns provided the regiment with their motto, Celer et Audax – "Swift and Bold."
At the end of the Seven Years War in North America, two of the four battalions were disbanded and the remaining men dispersed to garrison the remote outposts that existed throughout the frontier and along the Great Lakes. The Royal American Regiment bore the brunt of Pontiac’s Uprising as Indians swept over the small forts in the backcountry. At Fort Pitt and Fort Detroit, the beleaguered troops of the 60th Regiment held out against the dilatory attacks launched by the Indians. A contingent of the Royal American Regiment accompanied Henry Bouquet in a relief expedition to Fort Pitt during that long, hot summer of 1763. Indians attempted to block the relief force by ambushing the troops at Bushy Run, located about 25 miles from Fort Pitt. During the desperate engagement, twelve members of the Royal American Regiment were killed. Bouquet and his men were able to defeat the Indians, however, and secure relief of Pittsburgh.
The Royal American Regiment later participated in the American Revolution, but by this time most of the men were recruited in Europe. The unit was eventually designated as the King’s Royal Rifle Corp and still later as simply the Rifles. It continues to serve as part of the British Army to this day.
The World on Fire
While John Forbes’ army inched its way across the Pennsylvania frontier in the summer of 1758, other British forces were active in defeating the French in New York and on Cape Breton Island. General James Abercromby (Lord Loudoun) began his expedition against the French stronghold known as Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga), by assembling a huge army of approximately 15,000 men at the southern end of Lake George. After sailing his forces to the northern end of the lake, Abercromby disembarked and moved overland to assault the enemy outpost which was located on a point of land jutting out into Lake Champlain. Rather than set up an artillery barrage against the French earthworks, Lord Loudoun decided upon a direct frontal attack. This decision proved disastrous as the French repulsed the British assault, inflicting 1,300 deaths. Abercromby retreated back to Lake George and was eventually relieved of command.
The attack against the French fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island proved much more successful. General Jeffrey Amherst’s force of over 12,000 men departed from Nova Scotia in early June in ships under the command of Admiral Edward Boscawen. By the end of the month, Amherst had managed to surround the fortress while Admiral Boscawen contained the French naval vessels that protected the harbor. At the end of July, the French surrendered, leaving the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in British hands. From this point on, it would be nearly impossible for the French forces in Canada to receive supplies and reinforcements from Europe.
Another important British victory occurred in August 1758 when Captain John Bradstreet led a force of 2,200 men to capture Fort Frontenac, located at the point where the St. Lawrence River joins with Lake Ontario. With Frontenac in British hands, the French could no longer supply and reinforce its garrisons in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley. This proved to be an important setback for the French at Fort Duquesne as John Forbes’ army moved closer toward the strategic outpost.
Not only were offensive operations being conducted in North America, but the war was expanding throughout the world. In Western Europe, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, who was allied with the British, pushed the French out of Hanover after inflicting more than 16,000 casualties. In Central Europe, Frederick the Great of Prussia, who was also allied with the British, fought Russian forces (allied to France) to a standstill at Zorndorf. He then met the Austrians (also aligned with France) at the Battle of Hochkirch in October. In this engagement the Prussian suffered greatly, losing more than 9,000 men.
In India, the French attempted to seize the British administrative center of Madras. After a two month siege of the British fort, the French were forced to withdraw upon the arrival of enemy reinforcements.
By 1761, the war further expanded when Spain aligned itself with the French. This prompted the British to launch attacks against Spanish colonial possessions in the Caribbean and the Philippines. Before the end of the year, Britain’s naval forces and army had conquered the islands of Dominica and Martinique. In 1762, the British moved on to seize Manila in the Philippines. By the end of the year, the war had wearied and nearly bankrupted both France and Great Britain. In addition the allied nations had suffered dearly. Prussia had lost nearly ten percent of its population and nearly all of Spain’s colonial possessions in the Caribbean had been seized by the British.
Serious negotiations between the two principal rivals, France and Britain commenced in the fall of 1762 and a final treaty of peace was signed in Paris in February 1763. The settlement gave the British all of North America, east of the Mississippi River. At the time, some observers believed that Britain had made a bad bargain, trading Canada and the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains for the valuable conquests gained in the sugar islands of the Caribbean. The French statesman Voltaire reportedly remarked to King Louis XV, "After all, Sire, what have we lost – a few acres of snow?"